The New York Giants and the Detroit Lions will face off on Sept. 8 at Ford Field on Monday Night Football, and neither team wants to lose the opener of the season, much less on big time television like MNF.
Time: 4:00 Pacific, 7:00 Eastern
Where: Ford Field, Detroit
Television: ESPN, Monday Night Football
The Giants started off last year 0-6, so they really want to come out of the gate cooking this year. Eli Manning threw a career worst 27 interceptions last season, and the G-men only averaged a measly 3.5 yards on running plays. Most of these problems could be traced to the offensive line, which New York tried to improve during the offseason. They added John Jerry, Geoff Schwartz, and Weston Richburg, but the new crew didn't appear to have it all figured out in the preseason.
Schwartz, although very good at times, has been sidelined by a toe injury lately and may not play in the opener.
Hopefully for the boys in blue, new offensive coordinator Bob Mcadoo can get things figured out. By game time Monday night, the offense better have it straightened out if the team wants to improve this year.
As bad as the offense was last year, the defense was good. It's expected that the unit may be even better this year with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond III joining an already stellar defensive backfield. There are high hopes that Jason Pierre-Paul will return to his once dynamic form and bring a pass rush that has been missing lately.
For Detroit, many of the changes come in the coaching ranks. Jim Caldwell takes over at head coach for Jim Schwartz, and they have new coordinators on both sides of the ball, too, with Joe Lombardi on offense, and Tyrel Austin on D.
The Lions look to get more dangerous by adding Golden Tate and Eric Ebron at wide receiver, which should make Matthew Stafford even more capable down field, and James Ihedigbo should be a big improvement at safety on the defensive side of the ball.
With all the new coaches, the question for Detroit will be, can they adjust to the changes and settle in to success?
Prediction: This one will be very close, but in the end the home team will prevail in a close one. 28-24, Detroit over New York